13 Podcasts That Will Make You Smarter

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They say knowledge is power and time is money. Plus, you only get 24 hours a day which means that you really must spend every second of every day efficiently. And the best way to learn without putting in too much effort is by listening to some of the smartest podcasts!

smartest podcasts

Just like reading, you’re essentially fueling your brain by listening to these intelligent podcasts. They aren’t just background noise for when you’re driving or working – but they can actually make you smarter. You might think you’re not really interested in science or history or any of that mumbo jumbo — but the truth is, podcasts that make you smarter are also super fun- they’ll have you hooked, we promise!

In fact, we’ve compiled some of the smartest podcasts out there for you to listen to, learn and become a little bit smarter every day. Make sure to check-out 10 Motivational Podcasts to Lift Your Spirit.


1. Bill Nye

Who said science was boring?

Bill Nye, the science guy is here to prove just how cool science really is. In fact, Bill and Corey are answering all your questions about the universe before you’ve even asked them! Should you stop eating cheeseburgers to fix climate change? Are aliens swimming in the moons of Saturn and Jupiter? This podcast is the perfect blend of science facts and hilarity. This is top of the list for podcasts that make you smarter because there’s just so much to learn from it. And we call it one of the smartest podcasts because it will have you geeking out on science like never before because remember Science Rules!

2. NPR Planet Money

Economics is fun…?

Well, maybe not if you don’t understand it!

Luckily, though, NPR is here to deconstruct the economy for you to absorb effortlessly and thus, make better financial decisions. This is the podcast that can make you smarter because you can learn a whole new set of skills including analytical, problem-solving, numerical, marketing research, business planning, and even just managing your finances. We definitely recommend this intelligent podcast series since there’s so much to learn- that too, without any of the stress. So, grab those ear pods and open up yourself to a whole new world of smarts that you never thought you could conquer!

3. Radiolab

WNYC’s award-winning Radiolab podcasts are not just the smartest podcasts but also some of the most beloved public radio programs globally. What’s more, Radiolab podcasts have even won many honorable accolades for Journalism. With a distinct sound design, the show explores science, philosophy, and ethics in an entirely new dimension. It challenges the world’s preconceived notions about the universe and provokes them to think along a different path altogether. Basically, it helps you think, really think- which is why we call it one of the most intelligent podcasts out there.

4. Hardcore History

Hardcore History with Dan Carlin is surely one of the smartest podcasts you can find. But there’s a catch- Dan isn’t a historian! But it’s all good because Hardcore History isn’t even remotely related to boring old academic history. Dan has a unique way of thinking and he applies just that as he takes us through the past in a ‘theatre of mind’ style. This intelligent podcast is the ultimate blend of drama, masterful narration, and twists. Also, it is not like your usual regularly scheduled 30-to-60-minute podcasts. Dan just drops a few 3 to 6 hours long shows every year out of the blue, for his millions of fans to dote over.

5. Brain Science

As the name implies, Brain Science with Ginger Campbell (MD) is all about the human brain. But don’t worry if you’re not a neuroscience whiz because Dr. Campbell explores the brain in a way that everyone can understand. She derives her enthusiasm from the belief that understanding how the brain works brings us one step closer to understanding what makes us human. This is also a podcast that can make you smart because it features some of the recent discoveries in the field of neuroscience as well as some of the leading scientists from different parts of the world. Thus, it’s no wonder that it has been among the top-ranking podcasts in Medicine on iTunes.

6. Stuff You Should Know Podcast

If you’re a curious cookie, we have just the podcast for you! Stuff You Should Know is a video podcast series hosted by Josh Clark and Charles Chuck. Often abbreviated as SYSK, the podcast educates its audience on several topics, using pop culture references to add a touch of humor to the series. From satanism, sarcasm, champagne, chaos theory, true crime, fascism, the gig economy, diamonds, and even Mexican wrestling- SYSK has it all! Our personal favorite episodes of the podcast are ‘What’s the Deal with Rasputin’s death?’, ‘Use of insanity defense’, and ‘Are Nazi war criminals still at large?’. Learning has never been more fun so tune in to this intelligent podcast to become at least a little bit smarter every day.

7. The Investors Podcast

The Investor’s Podcast is an exclusive business podcast network. As one of the smartest podcasts, it aims to give sound financial advice to investors and entrepreneurs at all levels. The network’s “We Study Billionaires” podcast, hosted by Trey Lockerbie and Stig Brodersen, is the number one stock investing podcast globally with more than 50M downloads. Another podcast, “Bitcoin Fundamentals”, hosted by Preston Pysh focuses on Bitcoin. “Millennial Investing”, hosted by Robert Leonard, seeks to educate business leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors, while also inspiring the millennial generation. Yet another intelligent podcast, “Real Estate 101”, also hosted by Robert Leonard, guides individuals looking to establish their own real estate business. Warren Buffet and Howard Marks have been on one of the network’s podcasts so it’s safe to say that these podcasts can make you smarter.

8. 99% Invisible

Esteemed producer Roman Mars hosts the 99% Invisible podcast where he explores design and architecture, specifically the unnoticed parts. The show invites its audience to ponder over all the thought that goes into the architecture of things that we don’t really think about. The podcast is aptly named to indicate the ‘unnoticed’. It is about the difference between what you see and what a designer, engineer, or architect sees. With over 430 episodes and 500 M downloads, it comes as no surprise that this podcast is among the most popular ones on iTunes, RadioPublic, Pandora, and Stitcher.

9. Discovery — BBC

Another one of the smartest podcasts, “Discovery” by the BBC dives deep into the world of science. We definitely recommend this as it offers lots of opportunities for learning science-related stuff. The podcast’s audience includes people from all sorts of backgrounds with a love for nature, wildlife, and science. Any list of podcasts that make you smarter is incomplete without Discovery which is why the weekly releases are so popular with its audience. Whether you have yet to dive into the realm of science for the first time, or whether you’re already a science geek, this podcast is sure to get you hooked!

10. Acquired Podcast

Acquired Podcast is also a business-centered podcast that strives to tell the wonderful tales of great companies and their humble beginnings. With a monthly audience of around 100,000 people and a whooping 3 M downloads, the podcast ranks number one in technology shows on Apple Podcasts. The podcast has also had cameos from some truly phenomenal people, including the founders of Atari, Twitter, Sequoia Capital, Electronic Arts, Venmo, Superhuman, Recode, Eventbrite, and even Cameo. Thus, it only makes sense for this to be among the smartest podcasts since you can learn a lot from regularly tuning in to this podcast.

11. Cortex

This smart podcast is presented by Myke Hurley and CGP Grey who are both popular content creators. For this podcast, they get together to discuss their professional lives. This inspirational podcast centers discussions of the tools and methods to enhance productivity and creativity and improve the lifestyles of self-employed individuals. This intellectual podcast is another great learning opportunity so give it a listen and maybe take up a few lessons from the show.

12. Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders

This is yet another intelligent podcast about entrepreneurs and their rise to success. The show features several industry leaders sharing the stories of their struggle and success with the world. This show is produced by Stanford eCorner during the Fall, Spring, and Winter quarters. Every week, renowned innovators and entrepreneurs visit Stanford University to share their stories, lessons, and experiences that can help you become smarter. Therefore, don’t forget to give it a listen because you are sure to pick up a lesson or two from these influential people.

13. The Bottomline

If you’re looking to spend your time wisely, go on ahead and look into podcasts that can make you smarter. In today’s age, you can find podcasts on virtually every subject you can think of and thus, it helps to spend a few minutes every day listening to these intelligent podcasts. Because just like reading a book, listening to smart podcasts can make you smarter. You don’t even have to know a lot about the subject beforehand. Just plug in your ear pods and tune in to some of the world’s smartest podcasts to learn a thing or two about science and the universe.

Because it never hurt to learn a little about the world around us, eh?

smartest podcasts

About Arin

It’s lovely to meet you! I’m a thirty-something mama who loves all things interiors. Within these pages, you’ll discover a treasure trove of home decor insights, furniture reccs, painting endeavors, design advice, and much more—all aimed at enhancing your cozy abode!

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